Is Cyber Security a Good Career?
It’s an exciting time to have a Cyber Security Career. The BLS found it is one of the fastest growing fields. In fact, it’s projected to grow at a 28% rate. It’s exciting news because that rate stands on a market that held 100K jobs for 2016. That’s for only one prime Cyber Security position – Information Security Analyst. Imagine the possibilities for an entire field of such positions!
Part of the job growth is due to demand. The rise of cybercrime has grown that demand. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security, found the risk of cyber theft and fraud grows as cultures interconnect. Cybercriminals use advanced and scalable tools to breach user privacy. This is shown by a study by Privacy Rights Clearing House. This study shows that two billion data records were compromised in 2017. Cybercrime also breached more than 4.5 billion records in the first half of 2018 alone. Concerned about viruses? Hackers create four new malware samples every second.
A bachelor’s degree-holder could enter the workforce as an Information Security Analyst. This is primo territory for Cyber Security careers. The most oft-cited stats about the amazing growth in Cyber Security refer to this job. It’s packed with potential.
Higher level jobs for a Masters and PhD holder include Information Research Scientists
and Systems Managers. These are careers with six figure salaries and lots of clout. Then there’s the top echelon of Cyber Security careers. For these, one needs a combo of advanced education and years of experience. Jobs like Certified Information Systems Security Officer (CISSO) are C-suite. That means a big salary but also a lot of responsibility. So, it makes sense that these jobs have hardcore requirements. After all, the bottom line of the organization lies with these people.
Types of Cyber Security Jobs
Cyber Security degree holders are lucky. They have a bounty of career choices. Their skills are in high demand. It’s a matter of picking a job that suits your interests and goals. Here are some of the potential positions ahead.
A Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) looks for weakness in a computer system. They are a hacker with a conscience. That means they need to think like a malicious hacker. So, they need outlaw brand knowledge and tools. It’s the only way to protect a system from those with malicious intent. Lawful and legitimate actions are an essential part of this job, though. So, it’s a position with thoughtful consideration. This isn’t any typical technical computer programmer at work.
An entry level CEH works in a similar way to a Web Developer or Computer Programmer. So, those job salaries may give a range for what a Certified Ethical Hacker might make. But there isn’t hard salary data for this newbie career as of this writing. It’s also more specialized than those positions. Keep that in mind.
Penetration Testers and White Hat Hackers work together. In fact, they share the same goals. Pen testing is one of the many tools in an Ethical Hackers crucial set.
Penetration Testing pokes at vulnerabilities like a hacker. Their techniques find which areas of a network have holes. They do this to identify methods and windows of entry a hacker could exploit. That way an organization knows where and how they need to address weak spots. A Pen Tester also looks for passive threats like security practice and policy flaws.
An IT Auditor works like a detective. They discover and investigate issues in computer systems. This job starts with CISA certification. That’s because it’s specific to IT auditing. It delves IT security, auditing, and risk management. Notice that none of these domains fixes the problems. IT Auditing is about assessment.
This work identifies challenges and determines their impact. They don’t resolve the issue. So, a keen eye for evaluation is an important part of this career. Auditors report these detailed observations with careful consideration. In fact, this report is the crux of their work. Get ready to keep detailed records in an IT Auditor career.
A Computer Forensics Analyst identifies an issue and discovers the origin. In a hack situation, they also recover compromised data. Much like other types of forensics, Computer Forensics Investigators help determine the facts in a crisis. They work as part of a legal investigation.
So, a Computer Forensics Analyst needs both Cyber Security and criminal justice training. The CFCE certification is a perfect example of this. Validation as a Certified Forensic Computer Examiner (CFCE) meets both qualifications.
Many companies have an IT department led by an Information Security Analyst. They protect the organization’s networks. That means prevention with software, firewalls, and encryption programs. It’s also reaction when a breach occurs. These analysts write up reports to document challenges.
These analysts also stay on top of the latest IT tech and trends to keep their company up to date. They set and maintain standards and practices for employees to keep information safe. Many also conduct test cases. That means trying out a “what if” scenario to play out what might happen in the case of a hack or breach. Then they can use that learning to improve their systems even more.
A Cyber Security Engineer creates computer security procedures and software systems. They tailor these intrusion detection and prevention tools to their organization. One of their major responsibilities is to handle technical issues for all computer security matters. So, they must have exceptional incident-response skills. Security Engineers also need a high level of computer forensics competence.
They work with other engineers and IT to keep company computer systems efficient.
Network security administrators design and install a network security policy across the network. They have skills in threats and vulnerabilities, as well as protection strategies. Usually they collaborate with engineers to ensure network-wide security.
Responsibilities for this position may include indentifying network vulnerabilities, designing and managing network protection procedures and policies, and installing and configuring software and tools.
This is a top position in Cyber Security jobs. We’re talking C-suite. That means Chief Information Officer, and Chief Technology Officer. It’s the cream of the corporate crop. That means great opportunity as well as responsibility. The bottom line sits in your lap.
Some items on a CISSO to do list may include orchestrating upgrades for company systems. They direct the organization’s hardware and software needs. In fact, their network security’s in their hands. Not only that, they handle personnel, budgets, vendors and more. It’s the biggest of the big jobs.